"Are Q for Quinn socks suitable for kids with eczema?"
I get asked this question a LOT.
The answer isn’t so simple to answer as it requires some analysis of a condition that is often not well understood, especially amongst young children. So I have decided to share with you (in a very detailed and candid way); how I would answer this question.
My claims and statements below are based on my own child’s experience, hours of research on the topic, and the feedback from my own customers.
Jacob (my eczema child) wearing the socks around the time of our 2018 launch
During the research and development phase of Q for Quinn; while addressing my son’s eczema was a priority with the socks, I was more obsessed with the details of overall comfort and how fun the designs were going to be. Solving foot eczema for thousands of kid honestly didn’t come up as a top priority for our socks - I really didn’t understand how prevalent eczema was in kids and babies at the time. However, what I didn’t realize at the time was that by designing my socks around comfort for children, I was also helping solve eczema issues in babies, toddlers and kids.
It was only when I started getting reviews and testimonials from my customers that our socks worked so well for kids suffering from eczema that I was inspired to research the topic further and really understand what features of our socks helped support this. So it's only appropriate that I start this post with some of their testimonials:
“My eczema kid has been wearing about 6 different pairs of these for maybe a year and has had no trouble and loves them. His favorite socks.” - Liz T
“I searched everywhere for socks for my toddler who suffers from feet eczema. Even the so-called 100% cotton socks triggered flare ups at times. I was hesitant to try Q for Quinn, but Melita was so helpful in answering my questions so I gave the socks a try and now we can only wear these socks. Not only do they keep my son’s eczema at bay but the quality lasts with washing and holds up really well (unlike a lot of cotton socks in the market)." - Stephanie C
“Finally found perfect socks for my highly sensitive toddler. They work very well, maybe because of the materials used. We will only be using these socks” Renee T
In order to better understand why Q for Quinn socks may be a suitable option for kids with eczema let’s try to understand what causes eczema, especially amongst toddlers and babies and how by design our socks addresses some of these triggers
WHAT ARE COMMON TRIGGERS FOR FOOT ECZEMA?
Moisture and lack of breathability in fabrics used in socks
The most common cause of foot eczema amongst adults and kids is sweat in their feet being trapped for long periods of time. It is therefore so important that the socks (and shoes) worn are breathable.
Our high quality, lightweight organic cotton is one of the most breathable fabrics in the world. It allows a little airflow to dry out dampness limiting effects of irritation from sweat. Being a natural fiber, cotton also absorbs moisture rather than repelling it.
For babies and toddlers, the cause/s for eczema on feet is not fully understood. Dry skin, especially in the winter are a common cause. Moisturizing before wearing socks and ensuring the skin stays moisturized is so important especially in the winter, when dry skin and eczema is more prevalent.
Dyes and chemicals commonly found in clothing and socks
Researchers do know that children who develop eczema do so because of a combination of genes and environmental triggers. When something outside the body “switches on” the immune system, skin cells don’t behave as they should causing flare ups.
Fragrances, preservatives, dyes, and other chemicals in laundry detergent and skin care is known to cause rashes in both children and adults. - and fragrance free, chemical free clothing are often recommended for young children suffering from eczema.
Therefore, when something like 90% of baby and kids socks contain traces of BPA and Parabens – two toxins that are known hormone disruptors associated with certain dysfunctions it is entirely plausible that these toxins in kids clothing (which often cannot be washed) may be a trigger for eczema and may help explain why so many of our customers notice a big difference between Q for Quinn socks and other socks in the market for their eczema kids.
The presence of these toxins is usually caused by the use of dyes and other chemicals used in the processing of cotton. This is why it is so important to choose organic cotton and to ensure clothing (not just socks) is purchased from a facility that adheres to the strict standards imposed by organizations such as GOTS and Oeko-Tex. Every pair of clothing produced in these certified facilities is certified free of harmful chemicals and dyes for you, your baby, toddler and kid.
Another common trigger is thick seams in clothing. Some babies are particularly sensitive to this. Unfortunately, you can’t always tell just by looking (or even feeling) which seams will inflame your baby’s skin.
All of our socks come with toe seams that are “seamless”, which minimizing the risk of irritation caused by a thick seam rubbing against the skin (especially in the more sensitive toe area).
A full list of other things you can do to address eczema can be found in this article by one of our favourite skincare brands.
ARE OUR SOCKS "GUARANTEED" TO WORK FOR ECZEMA?
No brand or company can guarantee anything! We are currently working on tests in order to apply for the National Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association that will provide some scientific basis for why our socks might be suitable for children. However, even this does not come with guarantees. One company’s socks we have tried are The Eczema Company’s Remedywear (Tencel + Zinc) Socks for Kids and while they have the National Seal of Acceptance, there are still reports from parents saying they are unsuitable for their child.
No company or organization can guarantee that your child will not have a reaction. And sometimes other triggers may be persistent even when the most suitable socks are chosen (like laundry soaps used, non-breathable shoes for example)
This is the most frustrating part of suffering from eczema or having a child who suffers from eczema – not really knowing what the trigger may be. The best you can do is understand possible triggers: whether it’s moisture locked in, skin dryness, exposure to certain dyes or chemicals that are prevalent in clothing these days or your laundry soap; and take steps to address those triggers and see if it makes a difference. These include but not limited to: breathable clothing if you believe moisture is a problem, moisturizing regularly and avoiding seamed clothing if skin dryness is an issue, purchasing certified organic if certain clothing or dyes are a suspect, or changing your laundry soap.
We understand how frustrating (and expensive) this process of trial and error is. To make it easier on you, we have a policy where by if you have purchased our socks for your kid and think it may not solve your kids eczema issues or has made it worse please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will offer you a full refund.
OTHER FAQ RELATED TO ECZEMA
What is eczema?
Eczema commonly refers to irritated skin. The most common cause of eczema is atopic dermatitis (also sometimes called infantile eczema).
Common triggers of eczema are moisture, scratchy clothes / seams in clothing, reactions to toxins found in clothing and in some cases diet.
What causes foot eczema?
Eczema on the feet is most commonly caused from irritation from sweat and socks. It is therefore important to make sure that the socks and also the shoes you wear are breathable. It is also advisable to change your socks at least twice a day (if you are wearing them all day), especially if you are suffering from very sweaty feet.
What causes foot eczema in toddlers and babies?
In babies and toddlers triggers are less well understood. The usual suspects are dry skin, seams in clothing, dyes, chemicals and other toxins found in kids clothing.
Why is it necessary to buy eczema appropriate socks?
These socks are built to address some of the common triggers for eczema whether it’s lack of breathability, thick seams or chemicals in clothing / socks. Since socks are often worn, all day every day, socks and the composition of materials in the socks are the usual suspect when it comes to understanding triggers for foot eczema.
What shoes are ideal for foot eczema?
Choose comfortable shoes that are not too tight and made from materials that allow air flow. Shoes made of fabric, especially merino wool, is highly recommended. One of our favourite is the Giesswein Merino Wool Runners. For adults – Allbirds is an all time favourite.
What else can you do to avoid and treat foot eczema?
If your case of eczema is severe, make sure you are changing your socks at least twice and day and ideally leaving lots of time in bare feet so that your / your child’s feet can breathe.
In the winter, if eczema is triggered by dry air, make sure you are using the right moisturizers and a humidifier to add some moisture to the air. One that worked well for our son to keep his eczema at bay was Waleda. Your child may require a heavier cream or an emollient. Some ideas to try can be found here. I like sticking to a formula that is as natural as possible.
Also check your laundry soap and ensure you are using soap that is hypoallergenic for all clothing including your own if your child suffers from eczema. Avoid anything with fragrances or dyes.
Why are 100% cotton socks almost impossible to find?
Another frequently asked question. Probably answered best in the words of one of our customers:
“I don’t think the socks would hold their form and actually stay up with just cotton. I have an eczema child and have searched for 100% organic cotton and the best I seem to get is 100% cotton *contact* but with other materials too” – Liz T.
Do you need 100% cotton socks for eczema?
While it’s ideal to have as high cotton content as possible. In our experience we don’t believe it’s required for socks to be 100% cotton as long as the cotton (and other materials used) is of the highest quality possible and certified free from chemicals. Our socks are not 100% cotton because as stated above 100% cotton socks do not hold its form. Spandex is used for stretch and some form of polyester (polyamide) is used for strength and durability. The last thing you need is your socks lasting for just a handful of washes and/or not holding up on yours / your little ones feet.